Choosing a destination for your upcoming nuptials can be a heavy decision. You want a location that is exotic but not off the charts outrageous. For many, hitting that sweet spot between fabulous destination and affordability can be tricky. Fortunately, there are many destinations which fit the bill. These romantic settings not only provide a gorgeous backdrop for your big ceremony but will entertain you and your guests before and after the wedding.
San Ignacio, Belize
Ever thought about tying the knot at a Mayan ruin, amid a lush rainforest? This land is steeped in rich, ancient history that your guests will appreciate. There are so many things to see to keep them occupied. Even your wedding photographer will be so inspired by the surroundings, your pictures will turn out unbelievably grand. You will need to be in the country for three days before applying for a marriage license. Then after you provide proof of citizenship, your passports and marital status, and you are free to get hitched!
With its gold-sand beaches, turquoise waters, mountains with lush foliage and laid back, island-time attitude, Jamaica is a premier spot for tying the knot. Weddings are popular here, so most hotels offer a wedding package to help take the pressure off planning, just a little. Choose from a beach celebration or a plantation-style mansion wedding. Certified copies of birth certificates must be sent to the Ministry of National Security several weeks in advance. You must be on the island for 24 hours with your marriage licenses in hand. (The hotel wedding planner can help you with this.)
Just about anywhere in Italy will do for a spectacular wedding. Venice is the top pick and is arguably the most romantic city on the planet. With St. Mark’s Basilica as the backdrop to your wedding ceremony, and then a gondola ride off in the sunset while you wave ‘farewell’ to your guests, what could possibly be more perfect? For Americans to tie the knot in the old country, you must apply for a Dichiarazione Giurata with an American consular in one of the major Italian cities, with the necessary passports and other paperwork.
Easy to get to, this paradise island has convenience flights to and from. With dozens of resorts that offer wedding packages, this is an obvious wedding destination for many people. Mexico as a whole is an economical and beautiful location for a beach wedding. Say “I do” against the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. In Mexico, a civil ceremony only requires four witnesses, along with passports, blood tests, original birth certificates and copies translated into Spanish.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Punta Cana has several all-inclusive resorts where wedding packages are thrown into the total price. It’s almost like getting married for free in paradise! Enjoy the incredible landscape of lush jungle and jaw-dropping mountain ranges. For the DR you will need to complete marriage paperwork about six months in advance, where the consulate will legalize it.